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Home > Cricket > Pakistan's tour of India 2007 > Report

Everyone contributed to the victory, says Kumble

Harish Kotian in Delhi | November 26, 2007 13:20 IST

- Scorecard | Images

It couldn't have beenĀ betterĀ for new captain Anil Kumble as he led India to a convincing six-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first Test at the Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi on Monday.

The veteran spinner paid rich tributes to his teammates, saying each and every player contributed to the victory.

"Everyone contributed, and involvement was there from start to end. Whenever Sourav [Ganguly] had the ball in his hand, he did well. The batting was really critical. All the batsmen contributed with the bat," he said after the match.

India mopped up the required 32 runs pretty quickly on the final day to reach the victory target of 203 in 61.1 overs and take a deserved 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

Kumble said he didn't lose any sleep over it and was confident the team would get the required runs pretty quickly.

"I didn't feel the earthquake so that means I had a sound sleep. I knew 32 runs wasn't a problem," he said, referring to the minor quake that rattled Delhi and adjoining areas early on Monday morning, with a laugh.

Once again the captain singled out VVS Laxman for special praise and believes the 72 he scored in the first innings proved quite crucial.

"I think Laxman's knock was very crucial considering the circumstances. He's a fantastic player, I don't know why there is always a sword hanging over his head. He's a class player. His partnership with [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni was very critical for us. Once we let them a little bit off the hook, it was crucial for us to come back. From then we were in total control," the 37-year-old said.

Kumble added that the team management always believed in his abilities and there was no question of him being dropped.

"It's only a perception from not within the dressing room. It's a perception from those who discuss cricket other than those who are part of the dressing room. We know what quality he brings in and his role in the team is very crucial," he said.

The veteran leggie said achieving his first victory at the Kotla, his favourite hunting ground, was really special.

"If you look at my previous performances I have always done well at the Kotla. It creates a positive feeling and atmosphere. It has been nice to since my Under-19 days," he said.

Kumble also came to Dinesh Karthik's defence after the opener failed in both innings in the Test. He believes he made important contributions on the field by playing a part in Misbah-ul Haq's dismissals in both innings.

"Dinesh just missed out with the bat, but his contribution on the field was important. He took the crucial catch and effected the run-out. He was the highest run-scorer in the last series [in England [Images]] and it's not fair on anyone to be judged on two innings," he said.

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